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Ananda Mirilli headshot (copy)

Ananda Mirilli, Seat 5 candidate for Madison School Board, reported raising the most money through Dec. 31, according to campaign finance reports. 

Though most Madison School Board candidates announced their campaigns in late November and December, the public is getting a fresh look at how much money each campaign raised in the last six months of 2018. 

Candidates who raise more than $2,000 in a calendar year are required to file a campaign finance report with the city clerk's office. The first filing deadline for School Board candidates was Tuesday, which covered money raised from July through the end of December 2018.

Ananda Mirilli, who is challenging Seat 5 incumbent TJ Mertz, raised $2,285. Mertz's campaign raised $130 through the end of December.

"I noticed folks are energized by change, by a collaborative campaign and by a much needed perspective in the School Board," Mirilli said in an statement. She noted that 28 of the 38 donations listed on her filing report were under $50.

Mirilli's campaign was the only one to raise more than $2,000 by Dec. 31, though some campaigns have started fundraising efforts since then. 

"We did not do any fundraising prior to January, but have been successful since then and will be competitive," Mertz said in a statement. 

Amos Roe, another challenger in the Seat 5 race, did not file a campaign finance report. 

In the Seat 4 race, GSAFE co-executive director Ali Muldrow raised $1,651 through Dec. 31. Local restaurateur Laila Borokhim raised $661 during the same reporting period, according to a filing report. Former Dane County Supervisor David Blaska raised $1,825 — Albert Bryan —  did not file a campaign finance report.

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"The contributions I have received to my School Board campaign are about people believing we can prioritize that arts, that our schools can be at forefront of inclusion, and that we have the collective power to do what's right for our students, teachers and schools," Muldrow wrote in an email, adding, "I am incredibly grateful for the people who have donated to this campaign and invested in the love of learning."

In the Seat 3 race, district parent Cris Carusi raised $1,792, while her opponent, charter school operator Kaleem Caire, did not have a campaign finance report posted on the city clerk's website. 

"Our community values public education, and people across our community care deeply about supporting all kids in every local, public school," Carusi said in an email. "Political contributions to school board candidates are one way for citizens to have a voice in the future of public education. I'm grateful to everyone who has contributed to this campaign."

The next campaign filing deadline is Feb. 11, which will likely bring a fuller picture of how each candidate's campaign is doing financially. The primary election for all three seats is Feb. 19, with the general election scheduled for April 2. 


Education Reporter

Negassi Tesfamichael is the local education reporter at The Cap Times. He joined the paper in 2018. He previously worked as an intern at WISC-TV/ and at POLITICO.